Externalizing Behaviors and Eating Disorder Risk Factors in Adolescents



The current study examined the relative contribution of risk factors from different domains (i.e. family, peers and school) in the explanation of externalizing behaviors (i.e. proactive aggressive behavior and risky sexual behavior) and disordered eating in a community sample of boys (n=429) and girls (n=307), aged 15–20. In order to examine the predictive value of examined variables on types of externalizing behaviors and disordered eating as criterion variables, several hierarchical regression analyses were performed. Generally, it was found that the quality of peer relationships and school affiliation were negative predictors of proactive aggressive behavior and positive predictors of disordered eating. Furthermore, adolescents with higher academic achievements were less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, but reported more disordered eating behaviors. The quality of peer relationship mediated the effect of the family relationship quality on externalizing behaviors and disordered eating. There were no gender differences in the risk factors for different behaviors.


externalizing behaviors; disordered eating; peer relationships; school affiliation; risk factors

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096